Hi there, welcome to T-shirt Helpdesk.com!
My name is Gary. I have been working as a brand graphic designer for 20 years now, and I am here to share my wealth of knowledge with you. I teach people how to design, market, and promote their t-shirt business.
In this blog, we are going to talk about the pros and cons of print on demand.
A print on demand is a service where companies will print and ship your t-shirts for you when you make sales through your website/e-commerce store.
It’s that simple.
Now, let’s get into the pros and cons!
Cons of Print on Demand
1.) One thing that you need to know is that there are two kinds of business models for print on demand:
- Integrated print on demand services like Printify and Printful — this is where you have your website, and then you integrate their services with your website. Then, when the orders come in, they will print and ship t-shirts to your customers on your behalf.
- Third-party print on demand services: These are services like Redbubble, Merch by Amazon, CafePress, etc. The main difference in using such services is that these service providers hold the ownership of the customer, which means that you cannot access the customer’s information. If they buy from you, then you have no way of knowing who they are, where they are from, or anything else. You cannot collect information via emails, and this means that you cannot do promotions such as offers, coupons, etc. So, you miss the potential of having a returning customer when you use third-party print on demand services.
Now, a large portion of sales come from repeat buyers, and that’s the drawback of using third-party print on demand t-shirts.
2.) Limited blank t-shirt availability
The next con with the print on demand model is that you are limited to the quality of blank t-shirts that are provided by the print on demand companies.
It means that in case if you want to use a specialty blank like a tie-dye blank or a color-block blank t-shirt. So, in case if they don’t have it, then you cannot use it. You can use only what the print on demand company has available on their platform.
One great thing is that these companies have high-quality blank t-shirts like the ones from Bella+Canvas.
Bella+Canvas has one of the best quality blanks in the t-shirt industry.
So, the drawback here is that you cannot do every kind of blank t-shirt that you want, but they do have quality blanks available.
3.) Unique customer experience
Another drawback of using print on demand is that you are not able to deliver that unique customer experience, where you may have your t-shirt prints. But you may not be able to get your specialty prints or your special hangtags, labels and you also may not be able to have your specialty packaging like special packaging boxes, special poly mailers, etc.
So, the drawback here is that you cannot deliver that detailed unique experience, and you cannot add your goodies like the gifts, coupons, etc.
Pros of Print on Demand
1.) Virtually free with no start-up cost
The first advantage of using a print on demand service is that there is no upfront cost for starting.
In some cases, you may have to put your credit card or your PayPal account. But you are not charged for anything until you make a sale, and when you are making a sale, then you are making money and paying the print on demand service and getting your profit share at the same time.
It is virtually free, and there is no upfront cost involved.
2.) No equipment required
The second advantage of using a print on demand service is that you do not have to buy any equipment. So, there’s no need to buy a DTG machine, vinyl cutter, custom heat transfers, etc.
There’s no need at all! You don’t have to use any room, garage, or any equipment, as everything is handled by the print on demand service.
3.) No shipping
There’s no need to visit the post office. The print on demand service ships everything for you. So, you do not need to have a DHL account, UPS account, or FedEx, and there’s no need to wait for those guys to come or go to the post office.
This makes for a worry-free experience! You can sit back and relax while everything is handled by the print on demand service. So, there’s no running back and forth, and that’s awesome!
4.) Low-risk learning
This is the last but not the least i.e. you get to learn about the t-shirt industry at low risk. You come up with your designs, you put them up, and within 24-72 hours, and you know whether you have a hit or not.
So, you can take down the notes and put something up again. Also, when you keep doing such things, then you learn how customers act and react to designs, prints, etc. Also, you will learn about the t-shirt industry, web marketing, and how to sell t-shirts, and you will learn all of this at low risk while using a print on demand service.
So, print on demand rocks! And anyone who wants to get into the t-shirt industry, I strongly recommend that you start with a print on demand service.
Now, you can have your factory, warehouse, and everything. But you can start with a print on demand service, because you will learn a lot about the t-shirt industry, especially when it comes to selling t-shirts online.
Start A T-Shirt Business Or Die Trying!
I hope you liked this blog, and that it adds value and experience to your t-shirt business journey!
The t-shirt industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and you need to get your cut from it.
So, to help all the aspiring t-shirt entrepreneurs, I have created something called the Start A T-Shirt Business Or Die Trying Master Course.
In this course, you are going to learn about printing t-shirts at home, and you are going to learn Photoshop and Illustrator. It has so much information, and it is crazy.
Also, the job market is not doing too well these days, and the only way to fight a bad economy is to create an economy of your own.
So, cheers to your t-shirt business!